Notes: Today’s song is by Gabriel Paul, of the Crow and Eel Clan of the Penobscot, whose homelands are located along various waterways in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. The song is a song to thank and honor water. I encourage you to learn and take it to water near you to sing -- and then maybe create your own water song and connect to the water that is near you!
Gabe describes the song's origins on this webpage, and he and his niece, Leigh, have given permission for this song to be sung and shared freely. It is a privilege to be invited to sing in the language of the Penawahpskek nation, and I’ll help you learn it with care – but know that we are guests, and I'm sure I have an accent – it’s okay to be uncomfortable, and honored at the same time. Then visit the Penobscot nation site to respectfully learn more about these people who claim one of the oldest continuous governments in the world.
A people who have lived in one place for 11,000 years have a very different perspective than mine, as a child of immigrants. In this episode, I quote Weh'na Ha'mu' Kwasset (She Who Brings the Light), an Indigenous writer and visionary who was raised on Penobscot land, and is also known as Sherri Mitchell. Her book is Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change.
Youtube recording of Leigh Neptune singing this song.
Nuts and Bolts: This song is unison, unmetered, Ionian (major).
Notes I wrote this song a few months into the pandemic, at a point when I was disappointed with how I seem to know all this wisdom in my head, but have so much trouble translating it into body knowledge... I was tearful & fearful – and so frustrated with myself. Then I realized – oh, right -- this what it feels like to grow! Moving from comfortable to uncomfortable in a spiral of growth. Which started me thinking about prairie grass – the beauty of acres of grasses swaying and moving in the wind. Roots in the dirt and touching the sky... both growing up and coming down. Natural patterns that occur and recur -- including the spiral.
You can learn more about me and what influences my choices and work here.
Nuts and Bolts 4:4, Layer song, Aeolian (minor)
Notes To be open to the possibility of something wonderful happening seems both counter-intuitive in the middle of the pandemic and multiple crises, and also surprisingly comforting and hopeful. And indeed, wonderful things are happening in addition to what's hard and perplexing and dismaying. I love how I feel lighter after singing this -- I wonder how you feel?
Debbie said she wrote this song to help a couple people in her life that were going through difficult times. She says it is a great song to help manifest a dream into being -- you can think of something you want to come into your life and sing that into being, to embody it as you sing and to really see it happening, to call it in for yourself.
Songwriter info Debbie Nargi-Brown started singing and dancing on the day she was born! A gifted community song leader, an award-winning dance teacher, and a talented songwriter, she offers her songs with love, compassion, and the hope of bringing joy and healing to others. Debbie’s lyrics and melodies are sung all over the world. She writes songs for the heart, healing, transformation, love, grief, and all that connects us as human beings. Bringing people together in dance and song is one of her greatest joys in life!
You can connect with Debbie and her work at debbienargi-brown.com
Nuts and Bolts 2 harmonized sections which can be sung as a round or layered, in 2:2, Ionian (major) mode.
Notes Maggie Wheeler talks about the bravery of this last year, how campfires affected her songleading, and how singing becomes a forgiveness practice. But first and last, she shares a song of hers, Find Our Way Home, which rose out of the pandemic, and will be included on a new project she has just started working on. (I go maybe a LITTLE fan-girl-squeaky, but, hey, my first interview, and someone I deeply admire -- I think I can be forgiven!)
Extra special thanks to Patty Piotrowski, who provides beautiful art for each episode; I particularly love the sea otters in this one!
Learn more about Maggie's extensive work, and sign up for her emails (I'm definitely on the list!) so you can keep up with what's coming up at goldenbridgechoir.com
I mention a Peter Occhiogrosso interview with Maggie, in which she eloquently describes the many benefits of singing, among other things...
Maggie talked about a few artists -- if you have a local music store, of course get them there -- but here are some links, as well:
Sweet Honey in the Rock Live at Carnegie Hall
Singer-songwriter Aimée Ringle -- Human and Tender
The South African acapella group The Soil
Maggie Wheeler is best know in the U.S and internationally for her work as an actress in film, television and voice-over and most notably as the character of Janice on NBC’s hit series Friends. Maggie is a passionate singer, songwriter, choir director and workshop facilitator. She has been teaching her vocal workshop "Singing In The Stream" for over 30 years at retreat centers, universities, communities and schools to provide the experience of creating interpersonal harmony and internal harmony through the powerful act of creating vocal harmony. Maggie directs the 100-voice Golden Bridge Community Choir in Hollywood, an inter-generational, non-auditioned choir now going in its 16th year.
She is a prolific songwriter with a catalog of powerful and timely songs that have been sung by choirs worldwide. Maggie’s original music for choirs and communities is available on Itunes and other music platforms. To accompany her most recent CD entitled 'Walk With Me’, Maggie has created a songbook available by request through her website www.goldenbridgechoir.com Throughout this year of change Maggie hosted a weekly online community gathering called Together In Song, bringing together people from around the world to join in the healing power of singing.
To learn more about Maggie’s work please visit: www.goldenbridgechoir.com and maggiewheeler.net
Nuts and Bolts This layered and harmonized song is in 3:4, Ionian mode (major)
All 1:1 (Unmetered) 12:8 2:2 3 3:4 4:4 5 & 6 Mixed Meter 6:8 Accept Be Grateful Be Present Calm Celebrate Change Earth Empower Fire Flex Friendship Gather Grieve Grow Heal Hope Journey Moon Night Notice Nuts & Bolts Open Pain Play Release Rest Scale: Aeolian (minor) Scale: Dorian Scale: Ionian (Major) Scale: Minor Scale: Mixolydian Scale: Mixolydian Flat 6 Song Form: Ballad Song Form: Call & Response Song Form: Harmonized Song Form: Layer Song Form: Round Song Form: Unison Song Form: Unison With Separate Harmony Line Song Form: Verse And Layer Song Form: Verse & Chorus Song Form: Zipper Songwriter Conversation Stars Sun Tend Trees Trust Water